SPI 2022 THEME:
The 2020 Census results revealed that West Virginia experienced more population loss than any other state in the nation between 2010 and 2020. During this year’s SPI, we will create space for our participants to explore what it might take to reverse this trend. What public policies would pull people to West Virginia rather than push them away? What proposals can our lawmakers consider that would make the Mountain State a place where everyone, regardless of their background, can not only survive, but thrive?
SPI brings together highly qualified traditional and non-traditional undergraduate students, graduate students, and policy-curious people of all ages to build policy knowledge, leadership skills, and networks. The convening is co-hosted by the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy and the American Friends Service Committee.
Attendees participate in interactive sessions where they learn the basics of data, policy, and state government and build their organizing and advocacy skills. Throughout the convening, participants work in small teams to identify and develop policy proposals to shape the future they want to see in the Mountain State, culminating in team “policy pitches” to state legislators and policy professionals. Many SPI attendees have gone on to continue advocating for their policy ideas and to hold internships with West Virginia non-profits and in state government.
There will be full days of live content and team work from July 28 through July 30, culminating with the policy pitch competition on the final day. There will also be three “101” sessions offered in the weeks leading up to the start of the three-day convening. While attending these pre-convening 101 sessions live is optional, reviewing the session recordings at your convenience ahead of July 28 is required to be properly prepared for the institute.
Leading up to the policy pitch competition, teams will develop their policy proposals with support from our coaches and issue area experts, as well as have the opportunity to practice their policy pitches before they present to our judges.
There is no cost to attend, and students can work with professors to receive course credit. It is expected that participants attend all SPI sessions during the three-day convening, and those who successfully do so will receive a stipend of $100 to help mitigate the costs of forgoing a work shift, paying for child care, etc.
If you need accommodations to attend our virtual conference, including help with internet access, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’d be a great fit for SPI if you: